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Loyd Star wins game one against Taylorsville

In a low-scoring contest, the Loyd Star Lady Hornets snatched a 5-3 victory over Taylorsville Lady Tartars Tuesday night, to take game one out of the best two-out-of-three series.

Playing in a tense game, the Lady Tartars grabbed the lead early  but were unable to hold onto the momentum, as the Lady Hornets rallied in the sixth inning to tie the game up at 3-3.

The Lady Hornets weren’t satisfied with the game being tied, as they continued their rally to take a 5-3 lead, and shut down the Lady Tartars in the seventh inning.

“Our offense was slow at first,” Loyd Star’s Meagan Poole said. “But we actually ended up hitting at the end when it counted, and we ended up scoring three runs in the sixth inning for the win.”

Tia Keyes got things started for the Lady Tartars, leading off with a single. Lauren Stringer, with one out, reached first on an error that scored Keyes. With two outs, Taylorsville gave Stringer the steal sign. Lady Hornets catcher Marley Poole gunned Stringer down to end the inning.

Malori Cade led off the Lady Hornets half of the first with a single. Working the count into her favor, Marley Poole drew a walk with two outs. The Lady Tartars stranded the runners, striking out the next batter.

“I felt pretty good about my pitching,” ace pitcher Aly Floyd said. “I was glad that I had my defense behind me, to back me up. The defense did really good. They were really tough and made some great plays and had my back the whole game.”

Batting with two outs in the top half of the third, Keyes doubled off a line drive that made its way into deep center field. Emma Rankin would bring Keyes in on a RBI double into left field. The Lady Hornets got out of the innings, producing a ground ball to third baseman Johnna Norman.

Loyd Star started their half of the third with back-to-back walks by Malori Cade and Carson Hughey. Facing two outs, Norman would score the Lady Hornets first run on a RBI-single into shallow center field, which brought Cade home. The Lady Tartars stayed in front of the Lady Hornets, striking out the next batter.

The Lady Tartars added to their lead in the top half of the fourth, scoring one run off of an RBI sacrifice by Emma Kennedy.

Trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth, Loyd Star closed the gap. Hughey led off with a single into shallow left field. With one out Marley Poole drew her second walk of the night. Norman drove in a run on a RBI-single that went past second base. The Lady Tartars stranded the runners getting a strike out and a pop up to end the inning.

The Lady Hornets tied the game in the sixth inning and eventually took their first lead of the game. Aly Floyd led off with a walk. Aubrey Britt followed reaching first on an error. The Lady Hornets tied the game up at 3 all when Cade hit a fly ball and reached on an error, scoring Floyd. With one out, Meagan Poole gave the Lady Hornets the lead on her two-run RBI-double.

Although the Lady Tartars managed to get two runners on base in the top half of the second with two outs the Lady Hornets held strong, winning game one of the 2A MHSAA first round playoffs by a final score of 5-3.

“We knew coming into the game that we were going to have to play our best against a tough Taylorsville team,” Lady Hornets coach Jan Delaughter said. “Stringer is one of the best pitchers in the state, and we preached to our girls to stay patient at the plate. Most of the game we were patient. Meagan Poole came through with a good hit. Some showed good persistence and drew walks, and we laid down a few good bunts. The girls did what we needed to do to win.”

Floyd picked up the win for the Lady Hornets going seven innings and only giving up five hits.

Keyes led the Lady Tartars at the plate hitting a double and a single. Rankin had a double and an RBI. Macy Ainsworth had a single. Kennedy finished for the Lady Tartars with an RBI.

Norman led the Lady Hornets with two singles and two RBIs. Meagan Poole had a double and two RBIs. Hughey had a single. Cade notched a single and an RBI.

The Lady Hornets will travel to Taylorsville Thursday to take on the Lady Tartars for game two at 6 p.m. If Taylorsville was to win game one, the teams would play a winner-take-all game three.